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'We'll know when we know' - offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey on QB competition
Chip Lindsey works with Jarrett Stidham during Auburn's spring football practice.
March 9, 2017

By Jeff Shearer

AUBURN, Ala. -Auburn's quarterbacks took turns throwing, while 15 yards away, two observers watched every pass.

One will decide which QB will start this season. The other set the standard all Auburn quarterbacks have aspired to reach for nearly half a century.

Pat Sullivan, Auburn's first Heisman trophy winner, visited Tuesday's practice, standing next to offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey during passing drills.

"A legend," Lindsey said. "I've known him for a little bit, being in Birmingham earlier in my career. Just a lot of fun to stand there with a guy who's done as much as he has for Auburn and for our game. He's definitely one of the legends of college football. Enjoy being around him when I can."

After Thursday's practice, Auburn's fifth of the spring, the Tigers will take a week off for Spring Break. Lindsey is not in a hurry to anoint a starting quarterback.

"We'll know when we know," Lindsey said. "I'm not ready after four practices to say this guy is this or that. It's a continued evaluation throughout spring ball."

Lindsey said he wanted to evaluate Sean White after the returning starter fully recovers from an arm injury. White threw during the portion of Tuesday's practice that was open to reporters.

"Sean's made a lot of plays here," Lindsey said. "When he's been healthy, he's been really effective. I don't think we're even close to really discussing anything like that yet."

Lindsey said White is on a "pitch count," focusing on footwork while he recovers.

"Sean's been great," Lindsey said. "He's had some limited throwing on the side, rehabbing. But he's dialed in and helping me coach the young quarterbacks. Sean's played a lot, so he's got a lot of knowledge and foundation to lean on."



Transfer Jarrett Stidham is also assisting Lindsey in grooming freshmen Woody Barrett and Malik Willis.

"Those two older guys, a little bit more mature, and have done a really good job of mentoring the younger quarterbacks."

John Franklin III is practicing at quarterback and receiver. Lindsey said if Franklin does not win the starting QB job, he'll be catching passes instead of throwing them.

A Day

"They're all great kids," Lindsey said. "That makes it a lot easier to go in that meeting room every day when you enjoy being around those guys."

Lindsey said Stidham, who started as a freshman at Baylor in 2015, is "obviously naturally talented." The play-caller said Stidham is working on knowing where to throw on each play.

"He's really hard on himself," Lindsey said. "He's probably as critical as anybody I've been around on himself. When we go back and watch tape and I grade the film, he's a guy who's pretty hard on himself, which is good and bad.

"You don't want him to overdo it. He holds himself accountable which I think is very good. He has played enough where he's confident, but not arrogant, knowing he still has a lot to learn. Really impressed with how he's preparing each day."

Lindsey supports quarterbacks if they choose to work with private coaches during the offseason.

"Really they're just working on fundamentals. Trying to improve," Lindsey said. "I don't have a problem with them trying to get better."

No one knows better than Sullivan, the 1971 Heisman winner. They don't put your statue outside the stadium if you're not continually seeking to be the best.

Jeff Shearer is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:

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